So, you’ve recently become a new parent? Congratulations! You’re probably both scared and excited about the future right now. It’s completely normal to feel this way about something new. Not a lot of people will tell you this, but parenting is all about trial and error. No one knows what they are doing when they first start!
One area that a lot of new parents are especially clueless about is how their baby sleeps. The good news, though, is that you have no reason to panic. You are going to make mistakes, and that’s OK; everyone does. You just have to learn from those mistakes and keep improving. Do the best that you can and your little one will be just fine.
One of the most common things that a lot of new parents struggle with when it comes to sleep for babies is how to get them to sleep through the night. In the process of trying to reach this goal, they end up making a lot of mistakes. Here are some of the main ones and how you can avoid them.
#1: Not Following a Bedtime Routine
Babies thrive on routines. The best way to establish good sleeping patterns is to build them from scratch through routines. If you are inconsistent in where you put your baby down or what they do before they sleep, the various will changes confuse them, and throw their internal clocks out of balance. This makes it even harder for them to get a predictable sleeping pattern.
Set aside a specific time and place and a string of activities that you’ll follow in the exact order every night. For example, you can bath them, feed them, then read to them every night before they sleep. This will work to your advantage down the road: your baby will be easier to sleep train!
#2: Letting the Baby Sleep in an Unsafe Space
Any environment that is not designed for babies to sleep in is unsafe for a newborn. This means swings, baby rockers, and even your bed can be potentially hazardous. Invest in a baby-only sleeping space that features a firm, flat surface that they can sleep on.
A great option for this is the Portable Baby Bed because you can set it up close to your own bed with one of the fences down. You can even belt it directly to your bed for added peace of mind. This way, your little one will always be within arm’s reach and out of harm’s way. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this is actually the best sleeping arrangement to have for very young babies under 6 months.
#3: Waking up the Baby to Breast-Feed Them
We’ve all heard that you should never wake a sleeping baby. We’ll a popular myth among breastfeeding parents is that because breast milk is not as thick as formula, the baby is never fully sated so they need to be woken up for a top up every few hours or else they’ll starve. This couldn’t be further from the truth! When a baby is hungry, they’ll wake up on their own and demand to be fed! Therefore, there’s no need to wake a peacefully-sleeping baby up.
#4: Not Letting the Baby Sleep So They’ll Sleep Longer
It makes a lot of sense in theory: if your baby sleeps through the night for 12 hours from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am the next day, isn’t it a smart move to keep them up till 9:00 pm so they can wake up at 9:00 am and you get to sleep in a little bit every morning?
Well, that’s not how babies work. If you keep them up, all you end up with is a tired baby, and we all know how fussy babies get when they are tired! Plus, they’ll find it harder to sleep, so they’ll start waking up every two or three hours every night. Which leaves you with a worse situation than the one you were in before!
#5: Using Crib Bumpers and Crib Toys
Crib bumpers can make any crib look absolutely cute. They are meant to protect your little one from the crib slats, which they can bump their heads into or stick their tiny arms and feet through and hurt themselves.
That said, having a lot of stuff in the crib is actually quite dangerous and puts your baby at risk of SIDS through asphyxiation. So, you want to avoid things like crib bumpers at all costs. Good thing you don’t need them in a crib like the Portable Baby Bed, which features mesh fencing on all sides and no slats. As a bonus, the mesh also allows for maximum visibility throughout, so you are always aware of what is going on with your little one at all times.
#6: Not Letting Them a Nap During the Day So They’ll Sleep More
This never works. Daytime naps are extremely important for babies as they aid in their development. Not letting them sleep will only make them tired and sleep-deprived. When babies are tired, they get fussy and angry. And as every parent knows, you won’t like it when they get angry! What’s worse, being overtired makes it harder for them to sleep through the night, so you end up having a fussy baby that won’t sleep through the night. What fun!
#7: Not Sleep Training When the Baby Is Teething
You can start sleep training your little one between 4 to 6 months. However, a lot of new parents put it off because this is also around the time when the baby is teething. Problem is, if you choose to wait for that perfect time when your baby is perfectly fine and not teething at all, it’ll never come. So, don’t put it off and just start if you think your baby is ready for it!
#8: Sleeping on the Sofa With a Newborn
This is just the most picture-perfect image, isn’t it? Passing out on the sofa with your little one softly snoring away on your chest might sound amazing, but it is actually quite dangerous. It puts them at an increased risk of being dropped or accidental smothering.
The good news is that if you want to nap on the sofa, you can still have your baby sleeping peacefully next to you with a high-quality portable crib like the Portable Baby Bed. All you have to do is set it up right next to you and voila! Your baby gets to sleep in a perfectly safe environment while you pass out on the sofa.
#9: Not Helping the Baby Learn the Difference Between Day and Night
The process of helping your child learn the difference between day and night should start from the day you bring them home. You can help them learn to create this separation by setting aside certain activities for the day and others for the night.
For example, let them get active during the day. Give them toys, let them have tummy time, and take them outside during the daytime so they know it is not time to sleep. At night, minimize the number of activities they can do and dim the lights to show them that it is time to sleep.
Every baby is different. They all develop good sleeping patterns eventually, so just be patient with your little one and it’ll happen.
If you want to help your child develop a healthy sleeping pattern faster, you also need to make sure that they have their own dedicated safe sleeping environment. One of the best solutions for this is the Portable Baby Bed.
It is a great option if you need a safe space for your little one that can easily be set up close to you no matter where you are. You can even carry it with you to the beach for your baby’s afternoon nap when you head out!
It also comes with a host of other safety, security, and convenience features, the Portable Baby Bed is a no brainer if you are a new parent looking to avoid these baby sleep mistakes. You can buy it now here.